I wrote on Awesome Games Done Quick way back in January and that time has come back around again. This week is Summer Games Done Quick, a week long, 24/7 marathon of the best speed runners destroying your favorite games. That in and of itself would be pretty cool, but SGDQ goes one step further – the whole week they’re raising money to directly benefit Doctors Without Borders. The marathon started yesterday afternoon – and within 24 hours, they’ve already raised over $120,000. That’s crazy, and the number will just keep going up all week long.
If you aren’t familiar with speed runs, they are a player playing through a game as blindingly fast as possible. They involve using known in-game tricks, glitches, even some bugs to help get the time down as low as possible. Each game tends to have multiple categories – usually a 100& and an Any% – with different runners and tactics. The GDQs are a fantastic way to start learning about speed running, and they expose you to some awesome runners and games you might not expect. The marathons are also archived over on YouTube, so if you want to get a quick catch-up before diving in, that’s the way to do it. When you’re ready, check out gamesdonequick.com to scope out the schedule and donate, then bounce over to twitch.tv/gamesdonequick and start watching the fun.
Since this week was probably the first week back for most people in the world of games, this week has been pretty low-key for news. That said, there were a few things worth mentioning.
AWESOME GAMES DONE QUICK RAISES TONS OF MONEY TO BEAT CANCER
This week has been the annual speed running convention Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) which as of the writing this post, has raised almost $600,000 for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. I talked yesterday about my thoughts on speed running in general, which have been shaped mainly thanks to watching the GDQs over the last couple years. They’ve been archiving the runs on YouTube, slowly going as the week has progressed. There are a number of great run on the GDQArchive channel – Super Mario Bros. 3, Kaizo Mario World, Battletoads co-op – among many more.
SMITE OPENS UP XBOX ONE BETA APPLICATIONS
One other nice little news bit was that Hi Rez Studios has started accepting sign-ups for the upcoming beta for Smite on Xbox One. While there’s still no firm release date for the full game, nor the upcoming beta; it’s always a good idea to get signed up as soon as possible. This week also featured a pretty cool cinematic trailer on the Store on Xbox Live to help promote the game/beta. Even not being a particularly big fan of MOBAs, I’m curious to see how well Smite will translate to the Xbox One.
MICROSOFT LOOSENS UP ON TWITCH/YOUTUBE MONETIZATION
One last bit of news that came out today actually was that Microsoft is making official their stance on YouTube and Twitch content creators making money on Let’s Plays and Streams. They’ve set up a series of rules that content creators will need to follow of course, but if they do, Microsoft Studios is fine with them making a few bucks showing off their games. It looks like the rules are set up in such a way as to give Microsoft a bit of legal protection to keep their projects protected, but in general, the people that really deserve to make money from the Let’s Plays and Twitch streams would be following the rules anyway.